The regional conference “Monitoring of the EU Guidelines for the Support to Civil Society in the Enlargement Countries, 2014-2020-Year 1”, held 27th-30th April 2015 in Belgrade, brought together key stakeholders (representative of the EC, civil society, TACSO, governments, EU Delegations) to contribute to the refinement of the EU Guidelines for Support to Civil Society in the Enlargement Countries, 2014-2020 from regional and national perspective.
During the conference multiple goals were achieved: firstly, the participants commented and suggested modifications of the indicators, targets, benchmarks of the EU CS Guidelines and its Results Framework, preserving a regional perspective on the document; Secondly, the national working groups defined national targets and benchmarks of the EU CS Guidelines; Thirdly, the national working groups drafted input for the chapter on civil society in the EC country Progress Reports 2015 based on the EU CS Guidelines assessment for 2015 and identified priority indicators for each country; And finally, participants discussed the required resources and capacities for the establishment of the monitoring system needed for the assessment of the EU CS Guidelines.
Mr. Nicola Bertolini (Head of Sector, DG for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Western Balkans Regional Cooperation and Programmes Unit) highlighted the value of inclusiveness of key stakeholders in the process of drafting and monitoring the EU CS Guidelines and its monitoring. He also stressed the importance of civil society development for the countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey beyond the integration process.
Regarding the assessment of the EU CS Guidelines, it is expected that national statistical agencies and other state institutions will support TACSO Recourse Centers in the gathering and production of data. Also, the data gathering methodology for the BCSDN reports and the CSO capacity survey should be harmonized and unified so to provide for regional comparison of civil society development in the Enlargement countries. On behalf of the BCSDN Executive Office, the conference was attended by Milka Ivanovska, Junior Policy and Advocacy Officer for CSDev.